In addition to our renowned production items, our staff of expert craftsmen hand-make custom weapons for special orders. In this blog post we describe the process of designing, commissioning, and producing a custom weapon. We also explain how we work with our customers to ensure that their vision is realized in a functional, historical, and beautiful product.
Custom sword with hilt details suggested by customer.
How do I start a custom order?
The creation of a custom sword relies on a collaborative relationship between the client and the maker, bringing together your ideas with our expertise. Whether it is a unique fantasy piece or a detailed replica of an item from the past, we will work with you to produce the best possible version of your vision.
The process begins with an idea. Do you have a specific style of sword you like? Or is there a specific piece in a museum that you want an exact replica of? Is it a design of your own creation or one based on examples from other sources? Before contacting us we recommend that you compile a file of examples that inspire you, along with an idea of what handling characteristics and capabilities you want the final piece to have. Pinterest can be a great resource for this, as can historical manuscripts, museum catalogues, or even novels and movies.
Maltese style rapier
Once you give us an idea of what you want we will guide you through the trade-offs that might be involved in in making something that looks, feels, and functions the way you want it to.
It is relatively easy to just 'make a sword that looks like this'. The challenge of custom work is in balancing design aesthetics with a weapons functionality. Once we have settled on a design we will give you a quote on the price of the item and an estimate as to when it will be finished. On custom projects we typically take a deposit to cover our costs with the remainder due upon completion of the project or done in payments. Custom projects make take anywhere from a few weeks to a year to complete, depending on a variety of factors.
Custom dagger with scabbard.
When a client wants a replica of a specific historical piece we use our expertise and long experience to gather as much information about the original as is possible. This can range from traveling to see the original in a museum, gathering information from researchers to reviewing our extensive library of auction records, rare books, and journals. We then create a plan to replicate the item as closely as possible, given the clients budget and design choices.
Commissioned replica sword.
Sometimes we work with a client to realize a design that they have imagined on their own. In these cases the client may send us anything from a simple sketch to a detailed blueprint. This is always a collaborative process where we suggest ways to improve or adjust the design to make it work better as a sword. We use our deep knowledge of historical weapons to ensure that you get a weapon that both looks and functions as you desire. Our staff have handled and studied hundreds of historical swords, daggers, weapons, and armors. We understand the qualities that set an exceptional weapon apart from a mediocre example and we strive to impart these qualities in every piece we craft.
Customer designed messer
One of the simplest types of customizations is to modify a stock production piece with different pommel, grip, or cross characteristics. This can be simple replacements of one part for another to doing custom built components to have a unique pommel, guard or grip.
Loophilt sword with blued finish and a custom rayskin grip.
The cost of all of these processes will vary based on added work, tooling, and materials. A little extra steel will not change the price very much, but a lot of extra gold certainly will.
Custom rapier of Type 74 with custom details.
The budget for a custom order should be something you consider as you begin thinking about your commission. The uniqueness of your design will affect the price, but other aspects will also bear heavily on the end cost. Here are a few factors that come into play:
- Size (is the particular project significantly larger or smaller than most examples)
- Unique materials. If you simply must have a fossilized mammoth ivory grip on your custom Seax it is going to cost you.
- Very specific design constraints. How exact do you want the design specifications matched. Some customers are very happy with saying a 33-inch blade while in other cases a decision for a 33.24 inch blade is important.
- Unique shapes, guards with extra arms or curls, pommels with chiseled detail or blades with protrusions or in a flammard style will cost more.
You should generally expect that a custom sword will be priced at least 20% to 30% higher than a similar stock item. Some custom pieces can cost much more than a stock item as factors such as level of detail, research time, tooling, or material cost can be significant.
In the end custom work is one of the most exciting things we do. We love working with folks to produce unique and beautiful items that will give them a lifetime of delight.
You can contact us here to begin a conversation about a commission or modification.
Longsword with customer designed hilt
English Naval Hanger Trainer
Replica Horseaxe English mid 17th C.
Rapier based on one from a portrait of fencing master.
Weapon realized in steel from game example in Final Fantasy.
Custom Montante with customer specific details.